Things that school doesn’t prepare you for

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Hello again,

Just a little disclaimer: this is not an attack on the school system, but a list of things that I feel would be useful for schools to teach. I don’t think that schools should babysit us, it’d just be nice to be taught about life after school and not just about quotes from Shakespeare’s plays and how to use Pythagorus. I’m sure I could have written a list twice this size, but here are some things that school doesn’t prepare you for.

Being self-employed

Luckily my family have already loaded me up with information about expenses and tax and all of the wonderful things that accompany working for yourself. My mum even had to sit with me when I applied to become self-employed online. It’s a bit embarrassing that I got to being 20 years old without knowing the first thing about self-employment. It would have been so useful if schools talked about working for yourself as an option instead of banging on about uni all of the time.

Invoices

I didn’t actually learn what an invoice was until I got my first job in social media and my boss told me to sent him an invoice at the end of the month. Even now my invoices are the most basic things I’ve ever written. If you’re ever thinking about taking on some freelance work or running your own business, I’d definitely give ‘invoices’ a little Google because I’d barely heard of the word before I got to uni.

Jobs of the future

I don’t really know what to call this but when I went to school, only a few years ago, the only careers that were really talked about was teaching and law and nursing and all those other jobs that schools think are the best options. There’s no disrespect in working in those industries, but it would’ve been really nice to talk about jobs that are quite new or just different from the norm I suppose. When I told my teachers I was going to study journalism at uni, the only thing they’d talk about would be newspapers. Anything about blogging or PR or social media was dismissed despite school supposedly ‘preparing you for jobs that don’t even exist now’. Yes, they actually said that…

Politics

I don’t know if this is the same for all schools, but my schools NEVER talked about politics. I always remember teachers being fearful of revealing with political party they support. Although I wouldn’t have wanted to anyone to force their views on me, I would have really appreciated some information about voting and what each party stands for. It worries me that people are leaving school without knowing a lot about their own country’s political system and government.

Social media

In school social media was always talked about as if it was some form of evil. All that was talked about was internet safety and not talking to strangers. Whilst this information is useful and 100% necessary, it would be good to teach people about the uses of social media too. Social media is actually the reason I earn money so I find the thought of it being portrayed in a negative way in schools stings me a bit. Without Twitter a lot of people wouldn’t access news and without Instagram a lot of people wouldn’t know what a Boomerang is. Think about it.

Money

Managing money, earning money, the value of money, rent, tax, mortgages, savings… money in general needs to be talked about openly or people are going to leave school not having a clue. I appreciate that your teacher isn’t your mum but a little guidance wouldn’t hurt.  I’m really good at managing money and consider myself to be self-sufficient but I really wish that school offered me more support in that department – I don’t even have an overdraft…

As always, thank you for reading!

I didn’t have a bad time at school and in some ways I learned things that have actually really helped me. Maybe Theresa May will read this and realise that young people need to be more well informed before they leave school…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

 

 

Winning a Pug and Attempting Ice Skating | December 2016

Hello again,

This year me and Cem have probably spent a little too much time playing games and trying to win teddies at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. We’ve also been ice skating twice, so our time there definitely wasn’t wasted.

The first time we went ice skating it was raining and cold so I spent the whole hour shaking and trying not to slip over. My motivational for not slipping over was wanting to stay as dry as possible. Luckily, the second time we went there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and although it was still cold, it was an improvement from the first time.

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One of the best part of ice skating is probably watching over people fall over. I’m sure it’s not funny when it happens to you, but it’s nice to see peope laugh off their fall and get up and try again. Me and Cem didn’t fall over at all, seeing as we spent the entirity of each time clinging to each other for dear life. Also, if one of us was about to fall, the other one had to keep them on their feet. I will say that I had to save Cem a lot more than he had to save me, although he’ll probably say otherwise.

Maybe next time we go we’ll learn how to skate as individuals.

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As well as ice skating, we probably played every game they had: shooting targets, hooking ducks, smashing plates and basketball. After maybe two attempts at a basketball game, You only had to one ball into the hoop to win the biggest prize, but the hoop was far away and an irregular shape and size – it was a lot harder than Cem makes it look.

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Cem’s prize was a huge pug! It may not be a real one, but it still has it’s rightful place in my tiny student room. It’s so big that all the way home people were touching it and laughing at it.

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Another highlight for me was getting to drink tastiest hot chocolate in the world. Most stands there seem to sell it. It’s simply a ‘Luxury Hot Chocolate’ which consists of Cadbury’s hot chocolate, whipped cream and a Flake. Heaven.

As always, thanks for reading.

Let me know if you’ve ever visited Winter Wonderland. If you have, what was your favourite thing about it?

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

 

My Birthday | November 2016

Hello again,

This year my birthday started off a little different. At about 12:30am (so it’s only just my birthday here) I went to the toilet because I was about to go to bed. I didn’t take my room key fob with me because the rooms don’t lock by themselves.

When I tried to get back into my room, it was locked. I didn’t even have my phone with me or my slippers on either. I went downstairs to ask the security guard if he could let me in and he told me that the people from reception hadn’t left him the master key so he was unable to open my room. After about an hour of me standing in my kitchen watching an episode of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares from 2013, he found some sort of emergency door unlocking device that eventually opened my door.

What a way to start the day.

During the day, I had to go to uni from 2pm until 5pm before I could spend an evening free of assignments and uni related stress.

Me and Cem went for dinner at Frankie and Benny’s. I had spaghetti and meatballs and it was heavenly. I was also too full to move afterwards and I didn’t even eat all of it.

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Straight after we ate, we went to play TopGolf. We’re both highly competitive so we both thought we were going to win. I’m usually the loser of golf but today I had a feeling that today I was going to win.

As you can see, I was well on my way to victory. At one point I scored 13 which is unheard of in our games – we’re not the best golfers…

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In the end we ended up drawing. I would’ve won but one of the balls I scored four with didn’t end up counting. I usually lose so I’ll take a tie over that. However, I spent a good 10 minutes sulking over the ball that never counted.

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All in all I had a really chilled out birthday. I loved reading all of the birthday wishes that everyone sent me and I really enjoyed opening my cards. My cards will probably still be pinned to my notice board for the next few months, they look a lot nicer than the ‘to do’ lists and uni reminders that I have to stare at every day.

As always, thank you for reading.

…and thank you to anyone who wish me a happy brithday – I had a lovely day.

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

My Social Media Internship

Hello again,

Since I went back to university at the beginning of October I’ve been manically applying for internships. I’ve been looking at different areas such as PR, social media, journalism and blogging. I suppose that because I’ve only just started by second year so I’m still quite early in my Journalism degree and want to try different areas of work.

Although it would be lovely to be a full time blogger when I finish uni, I obviously need a back up plan.

At the moment I’d love to blog for a company or manage their social media. I love writing but I also really like the idea of helping a brand grow their audience and reach out to a lot more people. All I know is that my former dream of becoming a newspaper journalist is dying out more and more. I much prefer working online as everything is so instant and you can reach people that you wouldn’t necessarily reach via a newspaper.

Another reason I’m drawn to blogging and social media is because I’m growing up in a generation where technology is evolving in front of us. We don’t know how more advanced our laptops and our phones will be in a year, in five years or in ten years. By the time I graduate the way we use the internet and the way we seek journalism in all of its forms may be completely different.

Anyway, I recently applied for an internship with a start-up called Brain Füd. To cut a long story short, I got the internship!

The mains things that I’ll be doing for them will be managing their social media accounts, growing their following and increasing the engagement that their accounts receive. They’re launching their energy drink this winter so it’s exciting to be a part of something that’s so new. I’m really looking forward to see where the next three months take me and to meet a lot of new people who can pass on their wisdom to this young, budding blogger. I’m really hoping that I learn a lot and gain experience that will help me in the future either with my own blog or with my career.

Up until this week, I was feeling really down that I hadn’t found an internship. It’s so hard to find an internship that will fit around my lectures and will allow me time to finish my uni assignments. Obviously my uni work is my priority so there’s no point in me trying to juggle a full time internship along with my full time university course. Luckily, I can do a lot of my intern work from home and will only regularly be going into the office on a Friday. All I ever do on a Friday is stay in bed until 1pm and binge Netflix so I’m not exactly going to be losing out either.

I don’t know if anyone else in university feels like this, but I feel like my first year absolutely flew by and I’m running out of time to do all of the things I won’t have as much time for when I get a full time job. I’m going to make sure that I blog as much as possible and get as much work experience as time allows me. If I left university without having taken every opportunity that I can then I know I’d feel like I’d massively wasted my time. I’m aware of how competitive graduate jobs are, especially in London, and I want to make myself as employable and experienced as possible while I have the chance.

After getting this internship I’m feeling very positive. I feel like everything is falling into place perfectly.

As always, thanks for reading.

Please let me know if you have any questions about doing a journalism degree or finding an internship as I feel like these subjects aren’t talked about at all in the blogging world…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

 

 

 

The Best Bits | October 2016

Hello again,

After thinking about all of the good things that have happened in October, I wanted to summarise the highlights in a blog post. I might actually make this a monthly thing, where I list all of the ‘best bits’ from the whole month. I thought that it would be nice to read about all of the nice things I’ve done in a few years time. Anyway, this is what I got up to in October…

Getting an internship

After spending hours and hours looking at internships, jobs and work experience I’ve finally found an internship that suits me perfectly. I’ve just started a three month internship with Brain Füd, where (in basic terms) I’ll be managing their social media accounts and thinking of new ideas to better their profiles.

Southend

At the beginning of the month I went to Southend for a night and a day with my boyfriend. We walked the whole of that huge pier, tried and failed to win a Squirtle from one of those God awful grabby games and won a ridiculous amount of tickets in the amusements. We traded our tickets in for a Secret Life of Pets mug and Batman ball.

Beating Cem at crazy golf

Despite feeling poorly and having a terrible cold, I was the crazy golf champion when we went to Southend. Despite Cem being over-confident and telling me how badly he was going to beat me, I beat him on almost every hole. At one point, he actually lost his golf ball…

Losing to Cem at Topgolf

It turns out that I’m not as amazing at golf as I thought I was. For some reason, I thought that Topgolf would be just as easy as crazy golf. As soon as I picked up my club and looked at all the targets, I knew that I was going to lose this one.

The Girl on the Train

I’ve been waiting a good year for this film so finally getting to see it in the cinema was a long time coming. I couldn’t put the book down so I was excited and nervous to see if the film would live up to my expectations. It did!

My own domain

Another thing that was a long time coming was FINALLY buying my own domain name. In case you haven’t noticed, my blog’s had a little makeover. Instead of cour10eynoonan.wordpress.com, we’re now a more professional http://www.courteneynoonan.com. Yaaaaaay!

Sharing my blog with my family

Why do I feel like everything that’s happened this month has been a long time coming? I wish I’d shared my blog with my family ages ago but that’s just how things work out sometimes.

Going back to uni

Unlike a lot of people I was actually really ready to go back to uni. I had a nice long summer from May until October and worked two jobs in Cornwall. I loved being at home but I missed my uni routine. I’m sure I won’t be saying all this in a few weeks when my assignments start creeping up on me.

The Great British Bakeoff 

Although this sounds really bitter, I was absolutely heartbroken when Candice won. I was really rooting the Andrew and cried my eyes out when he lost. Maybe I was a little over-invested in this year’s series…

Going on the London Eye

I saved the best for last. Although I’ve been on the London Eye before, for some reason I had the urge to go on it over the weekend. Cem came with me and although he wasn’t certain that he really wanted to go on, he did and we had a lovely time. However, when we were taking pictures together it took me saying “can you act like you love me in the photo please?” for him to smile in the photos… He’s also terrified of heights so the first two minutes were hell for him. He felt a lot better when he realised that the pods don’t rock side to side like a ferris wheel…

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As always, thank you for reading!

Let me know some of the things that you loved about October…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

How I Clean My Makeup Brushes

Hello again,

I feel like a hypocrite for telling other people how to clean there makeup brushes and that they should remember to clean them regularly. I am AWFUL at remembering to clean mine. I know it’s disgusting. I’m ashamed. Moving on…

By now, I’m sure that everyone who uses brushes knows the importance of cleaning them. Think of all the makeup that builds up in the brushes and then think of the bacteria that can build up in the brushes. Ew.

I either use a baby shampoo or some other cleansing product to clean my brushes. This basically means that I use anything that will kill bacteria and leave my brushes with a pleasant smell.

Before (ew!)

Anyway, here’s what I do:

Rinse the head of the makeup brushes under lukewarm water. I avoid wetting the handle of the brushes because I don’t want to ruin them by washing out the glue that sticks the brush to it.

Mix the cleaning product into a bowl of warm water. This time I’m using a Nivea product because it smells nice and is designed to be soft on the skin. If it’s good enough for my skin then it’s good enough for my brushes. I don’t know why I’m acting like I have such an emotional attachment to my brushes – I don’t.

If some of your brushes are especially dirty, like my foundation and concealer brushes, you may need to put some product directly onto the brush and lather it in until it properly cleans them.

Rinse out the product and watch all of your built up makeup flood your sink. Not a pleasant sight, especially when you think about the fact that it’s the same gross makeup that you’ve been rubbing onto your face…

Repeat until your brushes regain their natural colour and until makeup stops coming out of your brushes – this could take a while if your brushes are as dirty as mine were.

Rinse the product out thoroughly – you don’t need baby shampoo all over your face next time you apply your makeup. Don’t waste your time by not washing them properly because you’ll only have to go and wash them again.

Lightly dab the wet brushes with a towel of some variety – be careful not to be too rough as you’ll mess up the shape of the brush and could end up pulling them apart. By this point they don’t need to be dry, just not dripping wet.

Leave the brushes to air dry.

After (yay!)

Thank you for reading!

Let me know how you clean your makeup brushes and which products you use to clean them.

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x

7 Annoying People You’ll Encounter On The Tube

Hello again,

Since, like most commuters, I always seem to encounter people that haven’t a clue about etiquette or manners when it comes to travelling on the tube. I’m sure that those of you that have used the London Underground before, or any underground for that matter, will have encountered someone that ruined their journey.
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People who have no ability to keep to the left 

There a signs everyone screaming ‘KEEP TO THE LEFT’. What’s so hard about it? People can’t get past if you’re stood in their way.

People who don’t let you get off of the tube before they get on it

These people catch sight of a free seat and will do literally anything to push past you to win that seat. They are so desperate that they don’t care how big the crowd against them is. They. Will. Win. That. Seat. Little do they know, that cramped seat isn’t worth it – you’ll have much more room if you just stand up.

downloadPeople who will risk being crushed to death just to board a train

There’s no need. The next train will arrive in 4 minutes at the most. If the doors are closing, don’t get yourself trapped in them . Just think about it, if you break an arm then you’ll be even later to your destination than you would if you just waited for the next train…

People who don’t give up seats for people that need them more

These people, in my eyes, are the most inconsiderate of them all. I couldn’t imaginimagese not offering a seat to those less able to stand. I know it’s crowded, you’re tired and you’d rather cut your legs off than stand up for 5 minutes but there is often someone that needs a seat more than you do. In this instance: move.

People that stink out the carriage with smelly food

I know you’re enjoying your foot long tuna Subway sandwich, but please have some consideration for the people sitting around you. We’re underground and there is fresh air, all we can smell is your stinky sandwich.

South_Wimbledon_tube_station_-_1995_Stock_trainPeople who slow everyone down at the ticket barriers

Get your Oyster card out of your pocket/handbag/suitcase/Pokéball or wherever you’re keeping it before you decide to stand in front of a barrier that other people could be using. Nobody has time to watch you fumbling around for your card holder. You could have found it when you were on the tube, in the escalator or in the lift.

People who thing that a bag needs a seat more than another human being does

A bag is not a person so it has no right to have a seat to itself. Fair enough if the tube is empty, no one wants to sit down and it’s not inconveniencing anyone. However, when the tube is over-crowded and people are packed in it like sardines, please do not hog a whole seat for your bag. I’m sure it will be fine on the floor.

Thanks for reading!

Let me know your absolute pet hate about using the underground, or travelling in general.

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x